One question that always bug wannabe bikers; How can I afford these wonderful beautiful machines? Fret no more because if you’re into gorgeous bikes and desire a career that allows both freedom of time and money, perhaps you should give optometry a try. The medical and health care field is an industry which continuously prospers regardless of a country’s financial situation or economic rank. It is because there will always be people who are in need of medical attention and usually, individuals do not give it a second thought when it comes to spending for improved health. Here are a few good reasons why optometry can be a good career choice for you.
1) High Salary
A report from PayScale, a company that maintains databases of individual compensation profiles, ranked the 20 best-paying jobs for women and “optometrist” landed in the No. 10 spot. According to the PayScale report, optometry is a relatively lucrative career for women and is one of the top five best-paying jobs for women are in the health care industry. The American Optometric Association also published it’s recent data and it shows that the annual income of an optometrist can range within US$120,000 up to US$175,000. Considering the starting salary of a fresh graduate is expected to be at US$90,000 a year, this figure is expected to go up as the individual has gained proper experience in the field. Optometrists with five years of experience or more get better offers from institutions. Aside from that, people with this much experience are highly sought after by major eye care companies and premiere hospitals. Hence, income would be much higher too.
2) Good work-life balance and job flexibility
On average, a full-time optometrist works 38 hours a week, although this may well include working some weekends and/or evenings. Around 34% of optometrists work part-time, a measure of the flexibility of optometry as a career. A proportion of optometrists choose to work as locums, traveling to a number of different practices and allowing them to vary the days they work. Some optometrists have even been known to locum for part of each year and travel or volunteer abroad the remainder of the year.
3) Wealth of opportunities
Optometrists can work in a number of different settings including private practice, hospital practice, education and industry. There is good mobility between sectors, offering even greater variety to those who choose to transfer between sectors or combine a number of different settings at one time. Private practice offers the opportunity to own and run a business, providing an additional revenue stream from eye care products like prescription glasses, contact lenses and other products. Profit from these can make up for the big chunk of the annual income that optometrists get.
4) Low Stress
Based from statistics provided by the US Department of Labor, optometry made the list of 15 occupations and was given a stress tolerance rating of 65.5 in 2013 (with 100 being maximum). While optometrist has occasionally the incredibly difficult and stressful task of informing some patients that they have a blinding eye disease or life-threatening issue, the majority of their work involves providing care that increases the patient’s overall health status. Combined with the reasonable working hours and high pay, optometry is a career that allows the individual to be more in control of their life without compromising job satisfaction.
5) Stimulating and challenging
One of the highlights of the job is the satisfaction gained from helping people and improving their quality of life. Optometrists in clinical practice get to meet a wide range of interesting people from all walks of life. Every patient represents a new challenge. In a single day you may see a patient requiring further investigation and referral for a medical condition, a patient having problems with their contact lenses, a young child requiring assessment of a a suspected lazy eye and a patient interested in refractive surgery. In addition, the field of optometry is constantly evolving with new roles being added, particularly in the field of shared care (with the hospital eye service). It is essential for practitioners to remain up-to-date and qualified optometrists are required to undertake continuous professional development, which can take various forms including course/workshop attendance and online education.
6) Job Security
Optometrists are the first port of call for members of the public suffering from vision problems. They provide a vital and increasingly important element within the primary eye care service. Advancing age leads to a greater likelihood of requiring a spectacle correction and an increased risk of ocular and systemic disease. The number of eye examinations undertaken continues to rise as the population ages and the demand for optometrists is predicted to grow even further over the next few decades. Developments in vision care mean that the role of an optometrist is constantly expanding, bringing with it opportunities to specialize and advance individual career to suit particular interests.
So stop dreaming of the new Ducati, BMW or even a custom motorcycle and actually do something about it. UCSI’s School of Optometry wants to help you find a clear focus for your career in eye care. We provide avenues for students to have proper training in optometric clinical skills and embark on a lucrative career in all fields of vision care. For further
information, please visit www.ucsiuniversity.edu.my/fomhs/programmes/undergraduate/BOptometry.aspx